Welcome to the Friday edition of NHL Rumours! The season is now just a week old. But that does not mean rumours have gone away. In fact, this is when things even heat up more as teams are positioning themselves to make moves. Every day the crew here at Last Word on Hockey will try to bring you the latest rumours and analysis. In today’s edition of NHL Rumours, we look at the New Jersey Devils, Boston Bruins, and Ottawa Senators.
New Jersey Devils
Analysis: This is kind of a no brainer at this point. Wood is off to a great start with three goals in four games. If he can keep this pace up this season, he will be a great return on the market. Just look at what Tom Fitzgerald got for Blake Coleman last year at the deadline. Granted it was a different circumstance, but you trade an asset at its highest worth.
And last year when Wood was having an off-year was not the time to do it. Nobody expects the Devils to contend for the playoffs this season… although they aren’t off to a bad start. But Wood is one of those guys that has value. He is fast, can score, and is physical. Does he take the occasional bad penalty? Sure he does. But there is a lot of good he can bring to a team. If Wood can continue the pace he is on, the Devils could get a nice return. Potentially a first-round pick and a prospect.
That is what the Devils got in return for Coleman. Wood’s contract is a little bit more than Coleman’s was, but he has term left on his contract. And teams always can use players with term left on their deals, especially in a salary cap world. If a team did trade for Wood, they would inherit his $2.75 million salary-cap hit for this year and next. Wood could definitely help a contending team get over the hump and play a depth role. Similar to what Coleman did for the Tampa Bay Lightning last season. Again this all depends on where the Devils are and how they see Miles Wood going forward.
Analysis: While Yandle would be a perfect fit for the Bruins to fill a need on defence, general manager Don Sweeney is not looking to add long-term money at this moment. Having to re-sign Tuukka Rask and David Krejci, adding Yandle would almost certainly see one of those two players leaving. The Bruins want to see what they have on defence now that Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug have left. Currently, they have Charlie McAvoy, Matt Grzelcyk, Connor Clifton, Brandon Carlo, John Moore, and Kevan Miller on defence. Not to mention they want to see what they have in Jeremy Lauzon and Jakub Zboril. This was one of the reasons why Chara was not re-signed.
It would be an uncharacteristic type move by Sweeney and the Bruins to bring in long-term money at that position. Especially someone a little bit older when they are trying to go younger. The Bruins are already a cap-strapped team as it is. To make this move happen to begin with they would probably have to clear out some money. Yandle has three years left at $6.35 million. That is a hefty price for the Bruins especially since they only have about $1.7 million in cap space. If the deal is there to be made he will make it, with the Panthers eating some of Yandle’s salary. But for now, the Bruins will roll with what they got.
Rumour: During his post-game zoom call on Tuesday after the game broadcast on TSN 1200, Brady Tkachuk was asked about what his next contract might look like and he says that isn’t something he is focused on right now but loves playing for the Ottawa Senators.
Analysis: Before the season, general manager Pierre Dorin told the hockey world that he did not have a problem with Brady Tkachuk playing out the season on the final year of his entry-level deal. There is no doubt Tkachuk and the Senators are going to get a new deal done. But as Brady said, it is a time we are living in. General managers are taking it one day at a time. They are not looking towards the future because they do not know what it holds. However, they do know the salary cap will remain at $81.5 million for the next couple of seasons. And the Senators have high hopes for Tkachuk. They see him as part of their future.
And why not? He loves the city and has embraced playing in a Canadian market. That is something you normally do not see. Some want out after a certain number of years. But the Senators are building something special there. And Tkachuk can be a part of it with players like Colin White, Thomas Chabot, Joshua Norris, and Tim Stützle. The Senators did things the right way by drafting and developing their young players. Some may not be a fan of how it was done, but the Senators have put themselves in a position to be a contender within a few years. And most likely the kind of deal Tkachuk gets is a long-term one.
That does it for this edition of NHL Rumours. Stay tuned for another this weekend.
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